Earlier this year, the first film in Adam Sandler’s production deal with Netflix encountered a public relations nightmare when Native American actors walked off the set of the Western, citing racism in the script. The star himself denied any such intentions, citing humor as his defense — but now that the film is available for streaming on Netflix, the proof is in the Pocahontas jokes.
The film stars Sandler as “White Knife,” a white man raised by Native Americans. When he discovers that his long-absent father (Nick Nolte) has been dropping his seed all over the Old West, he recruits newfound brothers including Ramon (Rob Schneider) and Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner) in a “Magnificent Seven”-like mission to take down the badguys.
Perhaps it’s unfair to focus on the racism claims; perhaps it is far more offensive that Sandler spends the whole film doing a raspy Man-With-No-Name voice, that Schneider’s burro covers a man in diarrhea, or that Taylor Lautner keeps taking about his third nipple. Is the film racist, is it harmless — or is it just business-as-usual Happy Madison?
Below is every instance of racism in “The Ridiculous Six” — read on, and then you make the call.
1) The very first image in the entire movie is a sign that reads “Redskins Keep Out!” So, unless you’re an embattled fan of a certain Washington football team, you might be offended before the first word of the script is even spoken.
2) Another sign reads “Maize munchers shot on sight”
3) When an attractive Native American girl is first glimpsed, a cowboy refers to her as a “sweet piece of red prairie meat.”
4) A Native American woman is referred to as “Poca-Hot-T****”
5) To antagonize Adam Sandler’s character — a Native American sympathizer — one of the bad cowboys says: “I think you’ve been smoking too much of that peace pipe, Kemo-slobby.”
6) Steve Zahn’s cross-eyed shopkeeper refers to Sandler’s girlfriend as an “Injun Whore.”
7) A “perky” Native American woman is known as “Never Wears Bra.”
8) Reverse racism! A Native American named Raging Bear is introduced as being able to “do a great imitation of a white guy.” He then prances about and says: “Hey guys, let’s play with our chest hair and eat potato chips!”
9) To mix things up, the racism goes South of the Border when Schneider’s Mexican character Ramon walks into a bank and the manager says to another customer “It’s not like you’re some greasy Mexican.” Oops!
10) Another Native American woman is named “Beaver Breath”
11) John Turturro plays baseball inventor Abner Doubleday, who coins the term “Shortstop” while mocking a Chinese man in the field.
12) Vanilla Ice, as Mark Twain, participates in a Native American group dance. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.